Movie Picks 

click to enlarge Laurence Fishburne (left) and Drea De Matteo in Assault - on Precinct 13, opening this week.
  • Laurence Fishburne (left) and Drea De Matteo in Assault on Precinct 13, opening this week.

*The Aviator (PG-13)
Leonardo DiCaprio gives an eloquent and sympathetic portrayal of Howard Hughes, one of the 20th century's most creative and tragically flawed figures. Cate Blanchett's extraordinary rendition of Katharine Hepburn, and their resulting love provides scenes both brilliant and complex. Martin Scorsese delivers a movie that is a glorious biographical view of Hughes as a futurist. -- Cole Smithey

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Blade Trinity (R)
Wesley Snipes returns as the day-walking vampire hunter in this third and final film in the Blade franchise. -- Not reviewed

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Christmas with the Kranks (PG)
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Coach Carter (PG-13)
Samuel L. Jackson stars as a controversial high school basketball coach who benches his undefeated team, demanding better academic performance. Directed by Thomas Carter (Save the Last Dance). -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10,Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Elektra (PG-13)
A female warrior is released from the hospital following a near-death experience. She becomes an assasin for Kirigi and the Order of the Hand and is forced to make a decision that will destory her or change her life forever . Starring Jennifer Garner as Elektra. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Fat Albert (PG)
A new take on Bill Cosby's beloved character, Fat Albert. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag (NR)
The movie depicts a young pilot's progression through the challenging and dangerous exercises of Operation Red Flag, the international training program for air forces of allied countries. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16 IMAX

*Finding Neverland (PG)
A whimsical, warmhearted and heart-wrenching film about J.M. Barrie, the playwright who wrote Peter Pan, that builds to a moving climax like a teakettle over a flame. A film set apart from Hollywood's standard sex-and-violence fare for adults, it's a story about never growing up, and never giving up on a place called Neverland. Starring Johnny Depp as Barrie; co-starring Kate Winslet. -- Dan Wilcock

Cinemark 16

Flight of the Phoenix (PG-13)
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The Forgotten (PG-13)
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The Grudge (PG-13)
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*House of Flying Daggers (PG-13)
See full review on page 31.

Kimball's Twin Peak, Tinseltown

In Good Company (PG-13)
See full review on page 29.

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Incredibles (PG)
A family of superheroes in hiding is forced to reveal themselves to save the world, again. Pixar Animation Studio's 6th digitally animated feature. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Kinsey (R)
Director Bill Condon's candid look into the life of sex researcher Alfred Kinsey promises to renew public discourse about how we view sexuality. Condon (Gods and Monsters) retraces the steps of entomologist/biology professor Kinsey (perfectly played by Liam Neeson) as he leads a small group of researchers on an ambitious quest to catalg the sexual interaction of thousands of American men for his scientific report Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Kinsey's realization that there is no such thing as "normal" in seuality is supported in his own wandering sexual habits that threaten to ruin his marriage. Fine performances by Neeson, Laura Linney, Peter Sarsgaard, Timothy Hutton and Lynn Redgrave make this a must-see movie with Oscar nominations written all over it. -- Cole Smithey

Kimball's Twin Peak

Ladder 49
John Travolta and Joaquim Phoenix co-star in this fire-fighting drama, set in New York City. -- Not reviewed

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Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (PG)
Three wealthy children's parents are killed in a fire. When they are sent to a distant relative, played by a ghoulish Jim Carrey, they find out that he is plotting to kill them and seize their fortune. Also featuring Meryl Streep. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15,Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Meet the Fockers (PG-13)
Sequel to Meet the Parents, starring Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro. This time the family visits the groom's parents, played by Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman. Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

Napoleon Dynamite (PG)
Napoleon Dynamite's protagonist (Jon Heder) is a teenager whose mouth is forever agape and whose disposition hops between extreme dopiness and standard-issue adolescent indignation. While the indie film is littered with hilarious bits and pieces, they add up to only a few hard laughs and not much else. -- John Dicker

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National Treasure (PG)
Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) descends from a family of treasure hunters who have long looked for a chest hidden by the founding fathers of the United States. When he learns of a plot to steal the treasure, his only option is to find it and steal it first. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Ocean's Twelve (PG-13)
Bland inside jokes, perpetual self-referencing dialogue, and foreign heists that will put babies to sleep fill up this truncated sequel starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and a bunch of other beautiful people, directed by Steven Soderbergh. Catherine Zeta-Jones adds a wrinkle to the plot as a hotshot Europol detective romantically attached to Pitt's character when she isn't trying to solve robberies. -- Cole Smithey

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Phantom of the Opera (PG-13)
A cinematic adaptation of the play by Andrew Lloyd Webber. --Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

*The Polar Express (G)
A Christmas classic for the wired generation. Breathtaking state-of-the-art computer animation combined with a fast-paced storyline make for dazzling eye candy, and Tom Hanks (who plays most of the characters) and director Robert Zemeckis craft a worthy homage to the animated Christmas movie genre that people of all ages really can appreciate. --Dan Wilcock

Cinemark 16 IMAX (in IMAX 3-D)

Racing Stripes (PG)
A zebra with a voice on loan from Frankie Muniez, is mistakingly abandoned during a rainstorm and finds refuge on a farm where he grows up believing he is a racehorse. With the help of his barnyard friends and a teenage girl, he sets out to achieve his dream of racing with thoroughbreds. Celebrity voices include Dustin Hoffman, Whoopi Goldberg, Jeff Foxworthy, Mandy Moore, Joshua Jackson, and Snoop Dogg. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15,Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Ray (R)
The much awaited film biography of America's beloved soul man, Ray Charles, who died earlier this year at the age of 73. The surprise of Ray is not the music; it's fabulous. It's not Jamie Foxx's performance -- tour de force is putting it mildly. The surprise is that despite a blocky, chronological, somewhat plodding story line, the development of a public character we all felt we knew well contains revelations that, while not particularly pretty, enrich the legend of Ray Charles, bringing him a bit closer to the ground. The 20 years depicted in the film are spent predominantly on the road, with Ray womanizing, shooting up and making glorious music born of a complicated and utterly unique genius. -- Kathryn Eastburn

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Shall We Dance? (PG-13)
Richard Gere plays a middle-aged accountant who finds transformation in a ballroom dance studio. Also starring Jennifer Lopez and Susan Sarandon. -- Not reviewed

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Shark Tale (PG)
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*Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (PG)
A slick, sepia-toned love letter to vintage 1930s serial adventures, Sky Captain plays like a kid movie wrapped in the skin of an experimental art film. Sky Captain opens in 1939 New York City with a dirigible flight, a frightened scientist and two mysterious vials. But before we get to the bottom of things, there are giant robots marching through Manhattan on an unknown mission. Sky Captain clips along at a brisk pace, taking our heroes from New York to Nepal to the middle of the ocean while still keeping the story simple and the action beats regular. -- Scott Renshaw

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Spanglish (PG-13)
Flor (Paz Vega) emigrates to Los Angeles from Mexico in hopes of finding a better life for her and her daughter, Cristina (Victoria Luna). Hired by John and Deborah Clasky (Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni) as their housekeeper, Flor contends with the language barrier, Cristina's budding femininity and the eccentric Claskys' way of life. Directed by James Brooks (As Good As It Gets). --Not reviewed


Therese: The Story of Saint Therese of Lisieux (PG)
The story of Saint Therese's faith in God as well as her struggles and triumphs on her way to a life of simplicity. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16

White Noise (PG-13)
A man is contacted by his dead wife from beyond the grave. Michael Keaton stars. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown


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